Reward Seeing Eagles in North America.

We had flown eight thousand miles from Ireland to Vancouver, Canada.  We visit different friends in Cloverdale, Coquitlan, Langley, Surrey, Hope, Abbotsford and West Vancouver.  After working with different groups we took a day off.  We were visiting Sescelt, a town on the Sunshine Coast off Vancouver.  The only access to Sescelt is by ferry. Last time Brendan and I visited Sescelt in Vancouver, our host took us for a drive along the Pacific, and told us stories about killer whales and salmon that are abundant in these waters.

We were taking a walk when someone shouted, “The salmon are running.”  Nearby we saw many salmon swimming up the river to lay their eggs in the sandy water bed.  We stood silent watching this phenomena for a long time.  We happened to be there at the right time.

This time we visited Sescelt we had another once in a lifetime adventure with nature. Hundreds of eagles were gathered in an area in the hills where there was easy access to food.  There were eagles everywhere, perched in trees or flying overhead.  We spent the afternoon eagle watching.  Our host loves using his camera.  He was looking for the perfect shot.  He did get some stunning pictures of the eagles.  I used my iPad to take some shots.  I am not a camera whiz kid.  Not as high defination as my friends camera, but I am happy enough to have captured the event.  We happened to be there at the right time.

Most eagles in Canada live in BC, where they are near a supply of fish.  We love to get a glimpse of them when we are in Vancouver.  Perhaps we might see two or three flying overhead back near the city.  But that day we were in eagle heaven.  Both male and female adult bald eagles have a blackish-brown back and breast; a white head, neck, and tail; yellow feet, legs and beak; and pale yellow eyes.


Immature bald eagles have a mixture of brown and white feathers, with a black beak and brown eyes in younger birds;  It takes five years for a bald eagle to attain solid white head and tail feathers. For the first five years they gradually change; the beak turns from black to yellow, the eyes from brown to pale yellow, body feathers from mottled to dark brown, and head and tail feathers from mottled to solid white. We saw an abundance of eagles of all ages, a reward for our journey across the land and ocean from home, eight thousand miles away.

I was getting my strength back after two busy weeks.  The eagles reminds me of God’s promise.

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭40‬:‭31‬ KJV)

Family Friday Woollen Blankets are Comforting

When I moved to my present home a friend noticed the curtains in my bedroom, left behind by the previous owner.  She gasped, “What beautiful curtains.  That material is sixty pounds per meter to buy.”  Then I thought, “Yes it is a good idea to have woollen curtains.  It keeps the cold air out.  Wool is a good insulating material.”

When I visited my children at their Scottish universities I would buy a tartan woollen blanket each time.  I now have a collection of blankets in all colours, blue, red, purple and grey.  I use one as a throw over a duvet on a winter’s night.  It prevents heat lose through the night.  They come in useful for ground cover on a picnic or warmth for a baby playing on the floor.  I use one over my settee.  It is useful when one needs to stretch out and put one’s feet up for forty winks in the afternoon.  Even the dog got to have one.

I always tried to visit my children, each one, when they were at university.  One son shared a flat with five other lads in Glasgow.  When I arrived the students were sitting around a play station.  They were concentrating on the game.  The kitchen sink was full of dishes and the garbage tin full of cans and empty bottles.   My son showed me to his room that he had prepared for me to stay.  The situation did not phase me.  I stepped over bodies to get to the room and rested for a while after my journey.  I was so glad to be alive to visit him, after my healing from cancer.  Things that would have annoyed me before, didn’t bother me.  I could have been in the grave and never have seen my boys on the earth again.  What did a few dirty dishes matter.

When I got up later everyone had gone.  It seemed these boys came alive at night and kept a low profile by day.  My son took me out for a meal and we spent a short time together before I moved on by train to Aberdeen to see another son.  He gave up his bed for me.  He showed me around the university and introduced me to some of his friends.  I was relaxed enjoying my visit with him, being alive.

I traveled down to London after Aberdeen.  I shuddered when my son showed me his bedroom.  It was freezing.  The window was single glazed, the curtains were flimsy and the duvet light.  The young mustn’t feel the cold.  I went out and bought my son a woolen blanket.  At least it will give a bit of comfort and warmth.  Only mothers see the need.  The blankets have become an inheritance for my children.  This son still has the woollen blanket I gave him.  He has brought it to his new home in Canada. 

I bought a tartan blanket for another son when he was at Oxford Brooke’s.  He used it for picnics on the lawns of Oxford universities as well as a covering on his bed.  He still has it and it is still in use for his two boys when he takes his family on picnics.  I was talking to him recently.  He was staying in my home while we were away.  He appreciated the woollen blankets I had beside the sofa.  He enjoyed a few siestas with a woollen blanket pulled up over him.  

A thought dropped into his mind, “I wonder could I make a wrap around out of a woollen blanket.”  There is a special warmth that comes from a woollen garment.  He was delighted later that day to find a pure woollen dressing gown in a thrift store for a few pounds.  He will have no fear of the cold winter evenings.

I suppose it is a mother’s instinct to make sure her children are comfortable.  When my children were babies I always made sure they were tucked up warmly in bed.  They slept better that way.  The scriptures make reference to this in Isaiah 66, where God promises to comfort us.
As a mother comforts her child, so I’ll comfort you. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭66‬:‭12-13‬ MSG)

Testimony Tuesday, Young Mother Healed of Cancer

I received this comment from a lady this week in response to my blog.  Because I have shared about my healing from Cancer she wanted to let me know what happened to her.   I am so encouraged to hear of God’s power working in this humble lady’s life.  Here is her story.

I had a cancerous cyst with a chocolate cyst attached to my ovary and am pregnant. I became suddenly, absolutely, overwhelmed with pain. I was also bleeding and cramping. I have birthed five children and the pain was worse than any of the labors combined. I went to the emergency room but all they did was give me morphine and send me home with no answers.

I was in horrific and constant pain for four days. I kept repenting to Jesus and asking Him to help me. I became a Christian as a young girl, received the Holy Ghost at fifteen, and had always lived devoutly. I have never drank, never smoked, and was a virgin when I got married. I am also a pastor’s wife. I could not understand why God was allowing my body to be attacked when I had always done my best to honor it. I kept repenting because there are some sins that we have that are only known to God Himself. I know sickness is not from our Lord. He only allows it. I kept asking for Him to take the pain BUT to let His will prevail over my desire.

On the 5th day, the pain had eased up but I had a painful urge to go to the bathroom. When I sat down I felt a huge mass pass from my body.  I turned to look at it and it was the cancerous cyst with the chocolate cyst attached to it. All the Cancer was gone. All of it was out of my body. Masses has been draining out of me for the whole four days but I could still feel the sickness.

Jesus healed me out of Cancer over four and a half very, very, very painful days. I know some may never believe me, but at least ONE of you will. You can be healed. You will be healed when you believe without doubt. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Love Him, Trust Him, repent to Him, and be faithful to Him and your life will undoubtedly be made whole. The process may be painful, but in the end you will have life saving results. Eternal life saving results.



I knitted My Children School Sweaters

I lived in the country and as I walked to school it was a familiar sight to see sheep grazing in the fields.  I looked out for the lambs playing in spring.  Their long tails would wriggle as they fed from their mothers.

Outside my home in Bright a number of sheep grazed.  They would be feeding just before dawn when it was cool and the dew was still on the grass.  They rested in the warm morning sun.  I thought to myself if I had any land I would keep sheep.  They did not need much attention.  Each sheep may have two lambs a year.
God promises to bless our herds if we obey him.
Our sheep will increimagease by thousands, by tens of thousands in our fields; (‭Psalm‬ ‭144‬:‭13‬ NIV)
You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. (‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭28‬:‭3-4‬ NIV)

My father kept some sheep.  In late spring the sheep’s woollen coat would be sheared.  I remember a man who was hired for the day would skilfully cut the wool off the animal.  The sheep would scurry away when the workman was finished, free from being held down but a little lighter from his coat of wool.

When I was at primary school, I learnt about the wool industry in Ireland.  The wool produced in Ireland supported the Irish cottage industry of knitting Aran sweaters and making tweed.  The women of the house would spend the winter evenings knitting. The woollen Aran sweaters were used by fishermen.  The sweater would keep them warm and dry in the cold Atlantic weather.  Each family made up their own pattern of chains and cable twists.  The picture of a mother sitting by her fire knitting a garment speaks to me of peace, love and serenity.  She was not wasting time.  Even in rest her hands were working.  Her mind was active to work out the complicated patterns. She would not let depression or idleness take hold.

These women reminded me of the words in proverbs 31

She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household; they are clothed in scarlet. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭31‬:‭13, 21‬ NIV)
She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭31‬:‭17, 27‬ NIV)

I love browsing in shops selling Irish woollen goods when I go on holiday to Donegal.  I remember my human geography lessons about the Irish wool industry.  The memory comes alive when I see the beautiful products, knitted scarfs, hats and jumpers for sale. I love to touch the garments that have been created by hand, rather than in some factory.

In Ireland it is the rules of the school that the children attending wear a uniform, a jumper, trousers or tunic in the colour decided by the school authorities.  I believe this is a good thing. The jumpers or cardigans that were sold in the store were made of acrylic yarn.  This material was easy to wash and dry but not to keep you warm.  I wanted my children to have woollen jumpers to keep them warm on cold winter days when they had to play outside in the playground.

I decided to knit each one a sweater for school.  I sourced pure wool in the colour of the school  and a knitting pattern that was easy to follow.  I put my knitting skills, that I had learnt at school, to use.   I was like the women in the cottages, knitting a garment in the long winter nights.   Each jumper was knitted with love.  I imagined my daughter or son wrapped in the warmth of the wool but also the warmth of my love as he played outside in the school play ground.  It also kept them protected from colds and flus.  Each child’s jumper lasted for a couple of years.

They never seemed to wear out.  It was money and time well spent.

Travel Thursday. Flying Across Canada

Brendan and I took a day off from our busy schedule in Canada. We walked in the midday sunshine.  The air was still and warm.  We laid a stone on the grave of a Holocaust survivor.  This is the week to remember the seventieth anniversary of release of Holocaust survivors.


Two weeks ago we arrived in Toronto to a wintry fall of snow.  I loved looking out at the Christmas scenes from the warmth of indoors.  We walked along the cleared walkways in the winter wonderland.
After a week we travelled by plane to Vancouver over Canada.  I looked out from the aeroplane window to see frozen rivers, lakes and the white landscape below.

Now we are in Vancouver where it is spring. The crocus open up in the warm sunshine. So I have travelled from Winter to Spring in five hours!



Testimony Tuesday My Son Recovers After a Fall.

Twenty one years ago I had my baby Abraham, my thirteenth child.   He was born in the middle of August.  We were invited to a Christian Summer Camp in Wicklow, Ireland, the third week of August.  Abraham was only a few days old when we set off for a holiday.  I did not want our family to miss the holiday before they went back to school in September.  I believe having a family holiday is so important.  The parents are away from work and all can spend time together in a relaxed environment.  It is a time to make memories that will be recollected later on dark days.  

We sent off with the new baby and nine other young children in our yellow van.  We were warmly welcomed by friends at the camp site.  Other mothers wanted to see my new born baby.  They couldn’t believe I came after giving birth a few days before.  The adventure was worth it.  There was family and friends around to help.  There were games arranged for children in the mornings.  There were parks to play in under supervision.
We rented two caravans.  My daughters helped me.  Visitors called to see the baby.

My boys loved the outdoor activities. They could let off steam and expend their energies in a safe environment.  One of my sons fell and knocked his head.  He was slightly dazed.  My husband and I agreed not to take him to hospital and prayed for him.  If he got any worse we would go to hospital.  We were staying in the middle of the country a long way from the nearest hospital in Dublin.  I did not like the thought of a long drive to the hospital and the disruption to our holiday.  I believed my son would be alright according to the Word of God.  

I remembered Psalm 91

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. 
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. (‭Psalm‬ ‭91‬:‭9-12‬ NIV)

I prayed and trusted God that no disaster would come near us in our tent/ caravan.  My son had a good night’s sleep and was alert and his normal self in the morning.  God healed any pain my son had.  He went out to play as usual.  We had a great holiday.

God our Father and Jesus promise that if we obey him he will bless us and protect us under his wings. 

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (‭Psalm‬ ‭91‬:‭1-2‬ NIV)

I would have been a nervous wreck if I was worried about my children.  I learnt to trust God.  I was not in control.  I trusted God to look after my family. 

We learnt from a family who came to stay in our town.  The parents let the children run, play, climb trees and scale walls.  Some of us in Ireland can be afraid to let children out of their sight.  Perfect love casts out fear.

Family Friday. My Six Boys Get Their Hair Cut.

I was reading an article today in a magazine.  It’s title was “Self reliance tips that will save you money.”  Number 11 on the list was the following.
“Cut your family members’ hair yourself.  A quality set of clippers costs less than 50 dollars.”

This article jogged my memory.  Twenty years ago I had six young boys ranging from the age of ten to three.  I would take them to the barbers to get their hair cut.  I would usually go on a Saturday morning.  They were off school. The barbers waiting room would be filled with other mothers with their boys or workmen who only had Saturday off.

It didn’t take long for each child’s hair to be cut but I had to get six children seen to.  That would take about forty five minutes all together.  I had to keep the others quiet in a confined space for that time. They got impatient by the time the last one was finished.  They would take turns climbing on my knee.  One asked “Mummy when can we go home?”  “Mummy I’m hungry.”  “Mummy, I’ve to go to the toilet.”  ” Mummy he hit me.”  “Mummy I don’t  want my hair cut. I want to leave it the way it is.” By the time everyone had their hair cut, I was frazzled.

I let their hair grow as long as was reasonable till I would visit the barber again.  I thought of a way to avoid the stress of having to go to the barber again.  It wasn’t because of what it cost but it was to avoid the long wait.

I knew a lady who worked in a training centre, teaching young students hairdressing.  I took my boys there.  I watched closely how she did her job.  She used an electric hair cutter with graded combs.  Number one was for the sides and number three was for the top.  Then she trimmed the fringe with a pair of scissors.

I thought to myself “I will try cutting my children’s hair myself.”  I bought a set of hair clippers and a pair of hairdresser’s scissors.   I learned quickly to use the machine.  The boys didn’t mind me cutting their hair.  I think I did a good job.  They looked well with their neatly trimmed hair styles.  I said to my husband,  “Think of the money I am saving us by cutting our children’s hair.”

When it was time to return to school in September all my children looked fresh in their uniforms and their neatly trimmed hair.  I was proud of them.  They looked healthy with their tanned or fleckled skin after the outdoor life they enjoyed all summer.

I even trimmed my daughters’ hair.  They had long hair so it was a matter of cutting the hair when it was wet, in a straight line across the back. As the boys got older they helped cut each other’s hair with the clippers.  The girls wanted to try different styles so they went to the hairdressers.  I am thankful they didn’t change their hair colour by bleaching it!

I got confident enough in my hairdressing skills to offer to cut my husband’s hair.  He agreed.  Brendan was sitting down and I was about to start when a friend arrived.  He was as bald as a coot.  He said to my husband “If I had a head of hair like you I wouldn’t let anyone do an amateur job!”  Any idea of cutting my husband’s hair evaporated.